Pirates Sign Two to Minor League Deals

According to the transaction page on the Pirates MLB site, they have signed pitcher Jared Eickhoff and catcher Jamie Ritchie to minor league deals.

The 31-year-old Eickhoff has plenty of big league experience since 2015, including two seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies as a full-time starter. However, most of his playing time came before 2018. He made 65 starts for the 2015-17 Phillies, but since then he has made 15 starts and five relief appearances over the last four seasons. In 2021, he made four starts and one relief appearance for the New York Mets, posting an 8.69 ERA and a 2.03 WHIP in 19.2 innings. He didn’t pitch during the 2020 season.

Ritchie is 28 years old and he reached minor league free agency for the first time this off-season. He played for Reno this year in the old Pacific Coast League, where he hit .317/.417/.430, which needs the asterisk that lets you know that it’s a high offense ballpark even compared to the high offense PCL. His .846 OPS ranked tenth on his own team for players with 40+ games. He has three seasons of Triple-A time and he has hit well each year, so he should be ready to compete for a big league backup job, even though he has no big league experience. He also has some experience at first baseman and he played 16 games in left field this year.